The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Dress, Body, Culture)
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Paris is renowned as the greatest fashion capital in the world. It has a rigid and tightly controlled system that non-western designers have difficulty penetrating. Yet a number of the most influential Japanese designers have broken into this scene and made a major impact. How? Kawamura shows how French fashion has been both disturbed and strengthened by the addition of "outside" forces such as Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Hanae Mori. She considers many other key questions the fashion industry should be asking itself. Does the system facilitate or inhibit creativity? Has it become preoccupied with the commercial projection of "product images" rather than with the clothing itself? And what direction will French fashion take without Saint Laurent, Miyake and Kenzo? This is the first in-depth study of the Japanese revolution in Paris fashion and raises provocative questions for the future of the industry.
designs and classify according to types of designers within the system of hierarchy, and each group of designers constitutes a category, that is the designers who belong to the French fashion system and those who do not. Their placement inside or outside the system affects them socially, economically and symbolically. There is also a separate hierarchy among the insider designers. Like Crane, Bourdieu (1975, 1980) insists on the importance of the producers of cultural goods. In case of fashion,
were prospering again and, having served its purpose, the dolls were abandoned by their French sponsors and presumed destroyed.7 It was Christian Dior who put Paris back at the 47 The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion center of the fashion capital in 1947 by introducing a new style called the New Look, that received unprecedented worldwide attention. French fashion and French Haute Couture would have disappeared during or after the war without the efforts made by the Federation. Le Comité
aesthetic appearance and taste preferences. Fashion in France developed institutions and organizations that defined beauty and articulated ideologies that acknowledge, in Bourdieu’s term (1984), ‘the legitimate taste’. Without a distinct institutionalized system, there would be no fashion. The hierarchy among designers is precisely what makes Paris unique. Conclusion Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter are two institutionalized systems in France which were created to separate themselves from the
rich French business guy, there was a rumor that Japanese employees are quietly being forced out of the company. But that’s not why I left. I wanted to have my own company. Kenzo has never directly trained younger designers to succeed him but those who worked under him have become independent and set up their own brand names. A designer remarks: ‘Anyone who wants to be a designer definitely wants to create his own name brand. If anyone denies that, he is a big liar, especially if he is ambitious
1. He retired as a designer in 1999, but he recently started a new brand. 2. Sales jumped from 135 million FF (approximately $22.5 million) in 1982 to 750 million FF ($125 million) in 1991 (Forestier 1991: 15). By the end of 1980s, Kenzo had 400 employees. 3. His biography can be found in Sainderichinn (1981, 1998) and in Kenzo (1985). 4. The school is often referred to as Bunka College of Fashion instead of Bunka School of Fashion. Bunka also has a four-year college and a two-year college both